Israelis target journalists, hospitals, mosques in Gaza

In its statement, the Palestinian Journalists Union asserted that Israel had carried out 37 intentional attacks on journalists and media institutions since July 7, when it began its onslaught on the blockaded Gaza Strip.

Israelis target journalists, hospitals, mosques in Gaza

World Bulletin / News Desk

As they adjust their cameras to snap a photo of a Palestinian child who has just lost his or her leg to an Israeli airstrike, or a mother who has just lost one or two – or all – of her children, reporters and photojournalists in the Gaza Strip are willing to risk their lives on a near-daily basis.

"Despite Israel's unrelenting attacks on the Gaza Strip and the precarious nature of reporting events here, journalists and photojournalists have to keep reporting the news," Palestinian journalist Walaa Baroud said.

"Journalists have to wipe away their tears and keep focusing their cameras so the world can see what is happening," he told Anadolu Agency in an interview.

He said Israel indiscriminately targeted everybody, including women and children, regardless of any humanitarian considerations or laws.

Baroud's words may go towards explaining the death of 25-year-old Palestinian journalist Khaled Ahmed, who worked for a local Palestinian news agency. Ahmed was killed on Sunday by an Israeli artillery barrage on the residential neighborhood of Shujaya in eastern Gaza City.

His death was roundly condemned by the Palestinian Journalists Union, which has continued to stress the importance of reporting ongoing Israeli atrocities in the Gaza Strip.

"Journalists play an important role exposing Israeli massacres in the Gaza Strip," the union said in a statement issued following Ahmed's death. "Using photos and videos, these journalists have the ability to make the world a witness to Israeli crimes."

In its statement, the Palestinian Journalists Union asserted that Israel had carried out 37 intentional attacks on journalists and media institutions since July 7, when it began its onslaught on the blockaded Gaza Strip.

Israeli warplanes pounded several Palestinian houses in various areas of the Gaza Strip late Monday, including the house of Anadolu Agency photographer Mohamed Dahlan in northern Gaza City.

An AA correspondent said that the Israeli fighter jets continued to strike residential houses across the Palestinian enclave overnight, including Dahlan’s house, which was completely destroyed by the raid. The airstrike, however, did not leave casualties.

Since July 7, at least 583 Palestinians have been killed – mostly civilians – and more than 3150 injured in unrelenting Israeli attacks on the besieged coastal enclave.

Israel's military operation, dubbed "Protective Edge," is the self-proclaimed Jewish state's third major offensive against the densely-populated Gaza Strip – which is home to some 1.8 million Palestinians – within the last six years.

25 health facilities hit

The Israeli army has hit over 25 health facilities in the Gaza Strip since it commenced its military operation against the embattled Palestinian enclave earlier this month, a Palestinian health official said late Monday.

“Targeting the health facilities is an internationally condemned thing and a red line that should not be crossed,” Health Ministry Undersecretary Medhat Mehesen told a press conference in al-Shifa Hospital, the main medical facility in the Gaza Strip, late Monday.

“The Israeli troops are targeting the health facilities and ambulance crews since the beginning of the military operation,” he added.

Earlier Monday, four Palestinians were killed when Israeli troops shelled the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in in the central town of Der al-Balah.

Palestinian officials also accuse the Israeli troops of preventing ambulances from reaching devastated areas to extract the injured and bodies of the dead.

A medic was killed on Sunday when Israeli troops fired at Palestinian ambulances as they tried to get into the Shujaya neighborhood in eastern Gaza City to carry away the victims of a relentless Israeli shelling that left scores dead and hundreds injured.

“We are afraid to see a repeat of what happened to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital,” Mehesen said.

The official warned of a humanitarian and environmental crisis in Gaza if the Israeli troops continued to bar the Palestinian ambulances from reaching the affected areas to move the victims’ bodies.

He also called for international intervention to provide protection for the health facilities and medical crews against Israeli attacks.

3 mosques destroyed

Israeli fighter jets destroyed three mosques in difference areas across the Gaza Strip but caused no casualties, eyewitnesses said.

An Israeli warplane pounded Shuhada al-Aqsa Mosque in central Gaza City, destroying it completely and causing serious damage to tens of nearby houses, eyewitnesses told Anadolu Agency.

Another airstrike hit Al-Farouq Mosque in Rafah town, southern Gaza, while a third attack targeted Al-Abrar Mosque in Deir al-Balah in central Gaza, destroying both buildings.

Palestinian medical sources told AA that no injuries were reported from the three airstrikes.

According to official Palestinian estimates, around 15 mosques were completely destroyed and 25 others partially damaged since the Israeli onslaught against the enclave began two weeks ago.

Scores of Palestinian Muslims on Monday sought refuge in central Gaza City's Church of St. Porphyrius after the Shujaya neighborhood in the eastern part of the city was pounded by Israeli artillery one day earlier.

Priests opened the church's doors to the embattled neighborhood's Muslim residents, according to an Anadolu Agency reporter at the scene.

The Church of St. Porphyrius, one of the oldest in Gaza, was built in the 5th century.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 22 Temmuz 2014, 09:33